Although it seems like a mystery to some homeowners, saving money isn’t as difficult as you might think. For Trinity homeowners, you simply need to incorporate two processes into your daily routines: conserving energy and being energy efficient.
You’d be surprised if you knew how much energy your Huntsville area home is wasting on a daily basis throughout the year . You’d also be happy to learn that you’re not powerless in dealing with an energy-wasting home. A home energy audit conducted by a certified professional will tell you exactly how much energy your home is wasting, as well as where it’s occurring and how to reduce the energy waste. The result will be lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. How Much Can You Save? The federal Energy Star program estimates you can save between 5 and 30 percent on energy bills after a professional home energy audit or assessment, providing you follow the technician’s recommendations. Usually, the suggested steps include relatively inexpensive improvements such as adding insulation and sealing air leaks. However, if you have old, leaky windows or doors, or outdated, energy-wasting HVAC equipment, there’s no sugar-coating it. Creating an airtight, energy-efficient home will require a significant investment. What Happens During a Home Energy Audit? The energy auditor will discuss your household energy use with you and ask to look at utility bills over an extended period of time. He or she will visually inspect health...View Article
Texas winters can get expensive when the temperatures dip for long periods, and keeping the energy bills in check in your Trinity home may feel like a constant struggle. Many homeowners wonder how to lower heating bills, and there are quite a few answers. These simple, inexpensive solutions will go a long way toward reducing energy costs this winter. Schedule Your Annual HVAC Tuneup Preventive maintenance is the number one answer to the question of how to lower heating bills. A poorly maintained heating system will cost considerably more to operate than a well-maintained unit. An annual HVAC tuneup will include removing dust from the components of your system, tightening electrical and gas connections, and lubricating the moving parts to prevent friction. Replace the Air Filter A dirty air filter restricts airflow to your system and makes it work harder to keep you comfortable. It also allows dirt to build up on essential components inside the unit, resulting in decreased efficiency and even serious damage. Inspect the air filter monthly and replace it with a good quality filter when it’s dirty. Seal Air Leaks When cold air infiltrates your home through tiny cracks and gaps, your heating system works overtime to...View Article
Homeowners in the Trinity area know how much they rely on their HVAC systems to keep them comfortable through the year. But with heating and cooling costs adding up to around half of the total energy use in your home, this can be costly. The good news is that home zoning systems provide a way for you to have more control over heating and cooling in your home, and at a lower cost. What Are Home Zoning Systems? Most of us grew up at homes with just one thermostat. Whatever its setting in a central room, usually on the main floor, affected temperatures throughout the house, despite the fact that different levels and rooms heat or cool easier than others. A zoning system solves this problem by separating the house into different zones, with independent temperature control for each zone. This means less wasted energy since unused rooms or zones don’t need to be fully heated or cooled. It also means home occupants with different temperature preferences can set the temperature in a certain area to suit themselves. By installing a zoning system, you can control when certain areas in your home are heated and cooled and at what temperature. Controllable dampers in your ductwork effectively...View Article
You probably worked hard all summer to keep your warm weather bills in check, and with cooler weather on its way to Trinity, it’s time to look into some ways to conserve energy for the heating season. Fall energy savings is a matter of preparing your home for colder weather, shorter days and more time spent indoors. These tips will help lower utility bills for real savings this winter.
After all the hard work your HVAC system puts in during the summer, it’s time to perform some fall home maintenance and gear up for the Trinity winter heating season. Performing simple preventative maintenance chores this fall will prevent many common problems down the line and keep the system running at a high efficiency. Start your maintenance with the following jobs.
Your ceiling fan may seem like yet another appliance that runs up your energy bills, but in reality it has much more potential. Used right, it will help you beat the Trinity and Huntsville area’s heat for less than you pay now. How Ceiling Fans Save You Money The “wind-chill” effect created by a ceiling fan can make you feel up to four degrees cooler. This lets you increase your air conditioner thermostat by four degrees with no loss of comfort. Every degree you raise your thermostat above 78 degrees for eight hours a day could reduce your cooling bills by 7 to 10 percent. Most ceiling fans use less energy than a 100-watt light bulb. That means your fan uses less energy per hour than your air conditioner. The end result is a reduction in energy use and a drop in your bills. By reversing your fan’s direction (to clockwise) in winter, you can create an updraft instead of a breeze. This updraft circulates warm air, meaning your thermostat won’t kick on the furnace or heat pump as quickly, which will save energy. Choosing the Right Fan Because they move air throughout the whole room, ceiling fans cool more efficiently than standing...View Article
Programmable thermostats can be an effective tool to help reduce energy costs if used properly. The temperature can be set to allow less use of your cooling and heating systems during periods when everyone is away or occupants are sleeping. Then your home can be brought to a comfortable level just before people return home or awaken. There are three basic types of programmable thermostats. The model in your home will determine the settings that are available to you. 7-day thermostats – Different programs can be set on different days with up to four different settings within a single day. This is the most flexible thermostat. 5+2 thermostats – The weekday program stays the same, but a different setting can be used for the weekend days. 5-1-1 thermostats – Saturday can have one program and Sunday another, while weekdays can use another program. Depending on the type of thermostat in your home, a correct programming schedule can be employed to reduce energy costs without sacrificing your home comfort. Here are some tips to get you started programming your thermostat. Set for long periods of time – Keep the thermostat set for the maximum energy savings for long periods during the day when people are away from home. Eight hours is usually considered a minimum in order to achieve meaningful...View Article
Summer heat in Texas often sends residents running to the cool of air conditioning for comfort. Running air conditioning in an inefficient home, however, can result in large utility bills and reduced indoor air comfort. Improving your home’s sealing and insulation can decrease utility costs and provide optimal comfort. Sealing and insulation may be done by homeowners using the following steps: Locate Air Leaks The first step to improve your home’s sealing and insulation is to identify areas of air leakage. Some leaks will be easy to identify because you can feel the air moving. Other leaks may be found with a visual inspection. Take care to investigate the areas around common sources of air leaks: Crawl spaces Sill plates Top plates Duct registers throughout the home Attic hatches Recessed lighting Plumbing stack vents Dropped soffit Vent fans, commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms Dryer vents Walls that are missing plaster Fireplace dampers Outdoor water spigots Moldings around doors, ceilings and baseboards Electrical plates including outlets and light switches Sealing Air Leaks The second step when updating your home’s sealing and insulation is to fill all openings with the appropriate material. The correct material to use to seal you home’s air leaks depends on the size and location of the...View Article
Because of hiked A/C costs, summer is the season when Texas homeowners can expect the highest energy bills. What are you doing to cut energy bills? If you succumb to any myths about saving energy in the summer, you could be spending more than necessary. Debunk these myths here and now to make optimal energy savings a reality. MYTH: Crank the thermostat down to cool the house faster. Most times, this simply wastes energy as the temperature gradually drops below your ideal comfort zone. The best method is to turn the thermostat down one degree at a time if you’re overheated. MYTH: Turn off the A/C when you leave home. The idea is to save energy while you’re gone, but turning off the A/C completely is a mistake. Excessive heat could damage your belongings, and resuming a comfortable temperature takes a lot of time and energy. As a compromise, turn the temperature up 8 to 10 degrees and set the programmable thermostat to resume a comfortable temperature before you get home. MYTH: Run ceiling fans 24/7. Like other myths about saving energy in summer, there’s some truth to this one. After all, ceiling fans help you stay cool while running the A/C less, but the wind chill created by a...View Article